Faryab protestors on Wednesday said they had closed a number of government offices in Maimana city and vowed to continue their demonstrations until government accepts their demands.
The protestors told TOLOnews that they had closed the court, the attorney general’s office, and the departments of rural development, justice and agriculture.
Officials would not however confirm this when contacted by TOLOnews.
A member of the Junbish Youth Council, Gul Mohammad Arkin, said on Wednesday that protestors had earlier in the day also closed Hairatan port in Balkh province for trucks coming in from Uzbekistan.
Protests were launched two weeks ago in a number of northern provinces after Nizamuddin Qaisari, the district police chief for Qaisar and close aide to exiled First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, was arrested after allegedly having insulted and threatened government officials.
Protests on Wednesday also continued in Samangan and Jawzjan provinces. Demonstrators held sit-in protests outside the governors compounds in both provinces.
The protestors are mostly all supporters of Dostum-led Junbish-e-Milli party.
“A number of protestors held a sit-in demonstration in front of the provincial governor’s building on Wednesday morning,” said Mohammad Seddiq Azizi, the Samangan governor’s spokesman.
This comes after protestors on Tuesday, in Sar-e-Pul province, also closed the court, attorney general’s office and the departments of agriculture, rural development and justice.
Sar-e-Pul governor’s spokesman Zabiullah Amani said protestors warned that if their demands are not addressed they will also close other government departments.
Demonstrations against Qaisari’s arrest started on July 2 in Faryab and have continued to spread through other northern and north-eastern provinces.
Last week, protestors closed IEC regional offices in Faryab, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Samangan and Takhar provinces. These offices remain closed.
The protestors are all calling for Dostum’s return to the country and for the immediate release of Qaisari.
The protestors also closed the only road leading to Aqina port, the border crossing in Faryab between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. This key trade route has been closed for ten days and protestors refuse to allow goods trucks and fuel tankers to enter the country.
As a result, the prices of goods, which includes wheat, food and fuel imported from Turkmenistan has increased.
Protestors said on Tuesday if their demands are not met, their next step will be to close all land ports in the north and north-eastern provinces and that they will disconnect Mazar-e-Sharif’s electricity and close down the city’s large fertilizer factory.
On Tuesday hundreds of Junbish supporters protested in Takhar province and closed a number of government departments, including the provincial governor’s office.
These protesters warned if government does not free Qaisari and allow Dostum to return from Turkey they will embark on civil unrest.
The protesters also called for President Ashraf Ghani to resign.